Keagan Hoffman, The King of Custom Air Force 1’s

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The story of how Keagan Hoffman’s friends change his life.

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Designer: Keagan Hoffman

By: Dalton Oium

 

Keagan Hoffman is arguably one of the most influential designers in underground sneaker culture. At just 20-years old, he has worked with some of the biggest artists and creatives including Xavier Wulf, Blazzy, and many more.

 

Currently residing in Los Angeles, Keagan draws inspiration from a lifetime of experiences—spanning all the way back to his childhood spent in Tokyo, Japan. Best known for his Chain Force 0’s, Keagan continues to push the boundaries of customization through his one-of-a-kind outlook and aesthetic.

 

Sharing his approach, we sat down with Keagan and discussed everything from his brand to his dream collaboration; discovering more about the man behind some of streetwear’s most coveted custom footwear. 

 

 

 

The first thing people notice when viewing your work is your use of outside materials such as chains, pins, & pendants.

What made you decide to use metals instead of re-branding your shoes with characters or art that people are familiar with?

 

“I wanted to personalize a shoe to my preference of style and aesthetic, as if the shoe was me. I wasn’t planning on even posting my first shoe but my friends liked the idea and encouraged me to do so. I also didn’t want to make shoes with cartoon characters because that looks corny in my opinion.”

Rage Force 0’s in collaboration with Justin Heidrick
(2020)

 
 

 

You mention your first custom, what type of shoe did you use for your first time?

 

“It was an Air Force 1. The original chain forces that came out in 2017 were the first shoes that I ever customized.”

Chain Force 0’s
(2017)

 
 

 

Along with custom forces, you’ve also worked on other shoes such as your Chains Off The Wall Vans.

Are there any other silhouettes you’ve experimented with?

 

“Before the Air Forces I did a little customizing on a pair of Converse but not enough to call them my first customs since they were incomplete.”

Toxic Chain Force 0’s
(2020)

 
 

 

These past few months you’ve revealed two new shoes that are part of collaborations.

Who have you worked with in the past and who are currently working with?

 

“In the past I have worked with Blazzy, Anthony from Ant Label, my good friend Whyiasutika and my personal assistant Ethan Sutherland. I also have a collaboration coming up with Choreboy and the shoes he sent me are currently at my studio!”

 

Skeleton Chain Forces in collaboration with Blazzy
(2019)

 
 

 

When approaching a collab, how do you choose who to work with and how do you go about deciding what the design will be?

Do they design their part first and then send you the shoe or is it more collectively thought-out where each party discusses the design beforehand?

 

“Sometimes I just send someone a message with an idea but usually I work with people who I already have a friendship with.”

 

“With each collaboration, the process differs. Sometimes they send their own design and I add onto it, but other times we discuss a kind of theme we should go with and get input from each other before we start designing.”

 

Empty 0’s in collaboration with REVIVED SENSE(S)
(2020)

 
 

 

Your eye for customization could easily be applied to a wide variety of things, even music.

You’ve done cover art for various musicians, any artists that our readers might recognize?

 

“I’ve made a few covers for Thouxanbanfauni, like Requiem, and have also worked with Xavier Wulf, Drippinsopretty, Hella Sketchy, Marcelo, Lil Wintr and a few others!

 
 

THOUXANBANFAUNI ‘Requiem’ Cover Art
(2018)

 
 

 

Where do you see Keagan Hoffman in the future?

Do you plan on strictly customizing shoes or are there other avenues you see yourself getting into?

 

“I can’t predict where I’ll be in the future, but I hope I’m in a sustainable position where I can work with more garments and other artists. Customizing shoes will always be a part of me, but I want to continue making clothes, graphics, and cover art.”

 

“My only wish is for my art to be seen.”

 

@KeaganHoffman

KeaganHoffman.com

 

Published: August 12th, 2020 | Dalton Oium

 

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